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Aart Klein (1909-2001) …typically dutch?

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No definitely not!….Klein is of the most important dutch photographers from the last century and recorded daily life in the Netherlands , but that does not mean that his photographs are typically dutch. Their subject is in many cases dutch, but their appeal is more international than one would imagine. I have sold Klein publications all over the world , including some to Japan. Aart Klein is for me one of the greats from the last century . His black and white photography has a graphic quality, which is rarely seen among his contemporaries.

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The Stedelijk Museum devoted a special exhibition to his photographs, but beside this special show he contributed to many other exhibitions with his quality photographs. Aart Klein publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

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William Klein (1928) a master of abstract photography

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I found an excellent biography on Artnet on William Klein, but for me the importance of Klein is the fact that William Klein made a stunning catalogue together with Wim Crouwel for his 1967 exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The catalogue has some very bold typography and the use of the bright yellow in contrast with the black and white photograph in the back makes it for me a classic. Here is the Artnet bio.

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William Klein is an American artist known for his unconventional style of abstract photography depicting city scenes. Although similar in subject matter to other street photographers such as Diane Arbus and Saul Leiter, as well as fashion photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Klein’s images break from established modes. “I came from the outside, the rules of photography didn’t interest me. There were things you could do with a camera that you couldn’t do with any other medium—grain, contrast, blur, cock-eyed framing, eliminating or exaggerating grey tones and so on,” he reflected. “I thought it would be good to show what’s possible, to say that this is as valid of a way of using the camera as conventional approaches.” Born on April 19, 1928 in New York, NY, Klein studied painting and worked briefly as Fernand Léger’s assistant in Paris, but never received formal training in photography. His fashion work has been featured prominently in Vogue magazine, and has also been the subject of several iconic photo books, including Life is Good and Good for You In New York (1957) and Tokyo (1964). In the 1980s, he turned to film projects and has produced many memorable documentary and feature films, such as Muhammed Ali, The Greatest (1969). Klein currently lives and works in Paris, France. His works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

There are more titles on or with contributions by William Klein available at www.ftn-books.com

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Arman (1928-2005)

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Arman stand for Armand Pierre Fernandez, I encountered his name today and remembered our visit to the cemetery of Père-Lachaise, the place where so many frnech and foreign celebrities are buried and remembered. There was of course the “shrine” of Jim Morrisson, who died in Paris and is still remembered by many admirers. His grave is full with grafiti and names of them and at an another side of the place there was a beautiful poetic grave of Arman.

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The grave was covered with violins and made quite an impression on me. Arman was one of the founders of the group Nouveau Realisme and can be seen as the European part of the Pop Art mouvement. In France this group grew famous with works by Spoerri, Klein and Tinguely , but the works by Arman stand out by their own. Accumulations of objects arranged and repeated on canvasses were his trademark. Including many times the use of Violins. This combination of violins in his works and for his shrine was remarkable to me. Some of his books are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Yves Klein (1928-1962)

Yesterday i learned from a dutch TV program (DWDD / De Wereld Draait Door) that there is a large Yves Klein retrospective in the BOZAR museum Brussels.

Yves Klein , touched many currents in Modern Art, even was one of the participants in ZERO, but eventually developed a style of his own using in many of his works the iconic BLUE color he developed. Was it zero, action painting or performance art? Today art lovers around the world can not answer these questions , but one can see for one self what fits most, because there is a great retrospective on his art in BOZAR/ Bruxelles until the 20th of August. His monochrome blue paintings are on show together with his action paintings of blue prints of female bodies. A great show and possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see many important Yves Klein works together.

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Nowadays Klein paintings fetch record prices at auctions all over the world, but in one of his first shows In Krefeld in 1961 nothing was sold. This was followed by an unsuccessful opening at Leo Castelli’s Gallery, New York, in which Klein failed to sell a single painting. He stayed with Rotraut Uecker at the Chelsea Hotel for the duration of the exhibition; and, while there, he wrote the “Chelsea Hotel Manifesto”, a proclamation of the “multiplicity of new possibilities.” In part, the manifesto declared:

At present, I am particularly excited by “bad taste.” I have the deep feeling that there exists in the very essence of bad taste a power capable of creating those things situated far beyond what is traditionally termed “The Work of Art.” I wish to play with human feeling, with its “morbidity” in a cold and ferocious manner. Only very recently I have become a sort of gravedigger of art (oddly enough, I am using the very terms of my enemies). Some of my latest works have been coffins and tombs. During the same time I succeeded in painting with fire, using particularly powerful and searing gas flames, some of them measuring three to four meters high. I use these to bathe the surface of the painting in such a way that it registered the spontaneous trace of fire.

To prepare your self for the exhibition, know that over the decades excellent books on Klein were published. There are some available at www.ftn-books.com

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Paul Thek (1933-1988) …an artists artist

Recognized at his time by many friend and fellow artists as one of the most important young artists, Paul Thek remained practically unknown for the rest of the art world. The last few years there is a renewed interest  ( large retrospective in 2011) in this great and interesting artist. Large museums in the Netherlands acquired important works by Thek and more important, the important collectors in the world take an interest in Thek and are buying whatever comes to the market.

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In 1969 Thek was introduced to the dutch museum audience with an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam for which Wim Crouwel designed a nowadays sought after small publication, which more can be considered as an art book than a catalogue. Beside this collectable publication a much larger publication was published in collaboration with Edwin Klein. This book is now considered as the most important Thek publication. Title is “A DOCUMENT BY PAUL THEK and EDWIN KLEIN”. This is an extremely rare publication published by the Stedelijk Museum and the Moderna Museet /Stockholm. Only a few art book dealers offered this publication in the last 5 years. This title is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com

Folio sized and an extremely rare Stedelijk Museum catalogue is sought by many. This is an artist book by Thek who is nowadays described as an artistst artist, but who becomes more known and appreciated by art lovers from all over the world as one of the leading Modern art artists from the 20th century. This book is not only extremely rare, but also of excellent quality. The bookblock is MINT-, the cover is of Near Mint- quality with 3 small tears on the right edge ( see picture).

So if you are interest in both Thek publications visit www.ftn-books.com and search for Thek and you will find both excellent titles available ( only 1 of each available).

wilfried

for more info see also wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Thek